I am constantly amazed at the strength of the human spirit and especially the strength of parents. We had such an interactive discussion at support group the other night about life after loss. Is it ok to feel happy again or smile sometimes? Should you feel guilty if you do? Will there ever be any joy again? If so, when does it come?
At the risk of sounding like a cliche, there is no timeline for grief. It has to work on its on time. I read somewhere that losing a baby is like having your heart cut in half. It bleeds for a very long time and eventually will leave a scar. The scar will always be there and if explored or manipulated, may bleed some more. I really like that analogy...it makes sense to me. Even though I feel like my personal "scar" has formed, there are some days when it gets opened a little and bleeds. Something will trigger the emotions, though they are not as raw anymore.
There is no script for how to act when you have lost a part of yourself. It surprises me that when someone loses a limb, they are perceived as normal if they grieve that limb or even if they perceive to still feel that the limb is still a part of them. But when you lose your baby, something you have helped to create and nurture, people sometimes want to put a time limit on your feelings.
I do think that as the scar forms, new joy seeps in slowly. And maybe it is because of that scar that we are able to really appreciate and notice that joy when it does appear.